Akhtar demands justice

Kathmandu, December 1:

National cricketer and owner of Shangri-La Cricket Academy, Aamir Akhtar accused Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) for being prejudicial against him and his academy.

“The CAN has been targeting me and my academy continuously and I demand justice from the National Sports Council (NSC),” said Akhtar at a press meet. “I have repeatedly sought reasons from the CAN and was forced to speak up after the concerned authorities turned deaf ears,” he said.

Akhtar accused CAN President Binay Raj Pandey of being biased towards him and keeping him away from the national team. Akhtar also accused the CAN president for neglecting his academy players for age-group tournaments. “I was excluded from the team that toured India for the Twenty20 tournament and when I inquired about it CAN spokesperson Tarak Mani Dixit told me I was axed by the CAN President Pandey,” he accused. “In 2006, CAN called me up from England for the Inter-continental tournament held in Namibia in 2007 and after the tournament I was told that I should stay at least 290 days in Nepal to be considered for selection,” he said.

“In 2001, I was included in the national team as the 15th man for the ICC Trophy held in Canada, but the cricket governing body did not call me up when four of the 14 team members failed to obtain visas from the embassy. Instead they sent other guys who were not even in the last 18,” he said. “I personally feel that CAN and President Pandey have become harsh on me and my academy after I started protesting their wrongdoing and opened the Amateur Cricketers Association of Nepal (ACAN),” he said.

Co-owner of the Shangri-La Cricket Academy Birendra Bikram Shah, who is also a national cricketer, accused CAN of being biased with the academy players during selection. “No matter how good the players are, the CAN does not consider our academy players for selection,” he accused.